Lego Ninjago is the theme of my 9-year old nephew's birthday party, and he asked me to make a Ninjago cake. After doing some research to see what in the heck a Ninjago is here is what I came up with.
The Lego "bumps" are chocolate covered Oreo cookies made in a plain Spinning Leaf mold and then covered with fondant to match the board. The close up pic includes the little Lego ninja that was my inspiration.
I had a total brain fart and remembered after it was stacked and iced that I had forgotten my bubble tea straws to support the top two layers (doh!), so I had to unstack, support, restack and repair the icing. I also had a heck of a time draping the black fondant and ended up having to do it in strips to avoid tearing. Good think drapey fondant can hide a multitude of sins! The cake is so tall and narrow that I'm concerned about the delivery. Fingers crossed that the dowels will keep things in place for the 90 minute drive tomorrow morning.
I'm happy to report that the cake made it to the roller rink intact, and my nephew was thrilled. On my way out, he gave me a big hug and said, "You know what I think, Aunt Gail. I think this is better than a "Cake Boss" cake." Priceless!
beginnermom, I'm glad you found this cake, despite my posting error. :( Here are the directions I had sent to someone on another board. I also sent them in response to your PM.
I made the cake using three layers of 7" round cake plus a rounded layer I made in an 8" half ball pan that I left a little underfilled. The actual lego head is quite a bit taller than it is wide, so I used 1/2" foamcore boards covered with Press 'n Seal under both the bottom two and top two layers to get some extra height. The cake was on a 20" cake drum that I had bought for a wedding cake and later decided was too big to use. (I was sooo happy when I went online to see what in the heck a ninjago was and saw that they sit on a big round piece! Part of my design inspiration came because I wanted to get rid of that huge board.)
As for fondant, I used a 2# container of Satin Ice premade black fondant for the ninja hood and eyes. I then used most of a 2# container of white Satin Ice (had it on hand, otherwise I would have made a batch of marshmallow fondant) to do the face (small amount made with a mix of yellow and golden yellow gel colors), the board and 'bumps' (lots of fondant made with lime green) and the skulls (very small amounts of fondant made by adding just a touch of black to make a pale gray and the red for the outline).
To cover the head, I first crumbcoated with buttercream and put the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm it up. I then attached a yellow strip across the front half of the cake that started just below the curved top layer and went a bit more than halfway down the cake. I made the hood in many pieces, starting with a large rectangle wrapped around the back of the head. That piece was 5" taller than the cake and came about 1" beyond the halfway point on either side of the face. I draped the top of the rectagle to form a slight point on the back of the hood and made some folds as I brought it forward on the head. The next piece was a long, skinny rectangle that framed the face to make the folds at the front of the hood.
Next came the part covering the lower part of the face and 'tying' in back. I had planned to do that from one triangular piece, much like a folded bandana, but it kept tearing while I draped. I ended up using three or four long skinny rectangular pieces to drape that part. Since I was making horizontal folds anyway, it was easy to hide each seam in a fold. Those draped pieces came around to the back of the head, meeting at the bottom centered on the back. Once the 'bumps' had been attached to the board with a dab of melted chocolate, I added two small fondant 'tails' and a fake knot to the back of the head to look like that part of the hood had been tied.
For the skulls, my husband blew up a picture he had foud online of "Cole's" (the black ninjago's) green disk, copied it onto card stock and cut a template. For the red trim, I used a clay gun with a small round disk to make a red fondant snake and attached it to the skull with a thin smear of Crisco. You could probably get the same effect by piping on some red icing usig a tip 2 or 3.
I hope these directions are more helpful than confusing! Good luck and have fun with your cakes.
You are so talented! Truly inspirational and exactly what I was looking for!
I'd love to know what the dimensions of the Ninja head turned out to be in the end.
Do you think that white Ninja with blue board will work too?
My son requested the red Ninjago cake for his birthday which is next weekend but I am afraid there's going to be too many health conscious parents who may not be happy with bright red fondant.
Thank you so much for your kind feedback, sachi. I hope this helps with your son's cake.
The cake ended up being about 71/4" in diameter and 10 1/2" tall. That's close to the proportion of the actual Ninjago figure's head. It definitely needed doweling for travel!
As for color, I think any high contrast color combination would work for the cake and board. In my case, it was the first fondant cake for most of the kids. They took one bite with the fondant on just to try it (and to get black teeth...it was a group of 9 year only boys, after all ). Nearly all of them continued to eat only the cake and icing. I suspected that would be the case, so I did a thicker crumb coat under the fondant.
Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have further questions.
Thanks, all. suppastaaah, I have to admit the oreo "bumps' are one of my favorite parts of the cake. So tickled with how those turned out!
sachi, I used nearly all of a 2 pound bucket of black fondant and a 2 pound bucket of white fondant (mostly tinted green for the board and "bumps, but some tinted yellow, very light gray and red. A large recipe of MMF makes about 2.5 pounds, so that should give you some idea of what you'd have to make.
The bumps are oreos that I covered in white candy melts using the plain mold from Spinning Leaf. When the time came to cover them in fondant I rolled it out fairly thin, cut a circle about 1.5" bigger than the chocolate covered cookie, brushed on a bit of piping gel to make it stick and brushed it gently with my fingers to smooth it out. I used a sharp kitchen knife to trim the bottom edge. I attached them to the board using just a melted dab of the candy melts.
If you don't want to go the chocolate covered oreo route, you could use a round cookie cutter to cut them out of rice krispie treats (might be a bit bumpy unless you "spackle" them with royal icing or melted candy melts first) or really thick fondant. You could also cut them out of styrofoam and cover that with fondant. Go with whatever your have on hand and/or will be easiest.
My son's birthday is this Saturday and right now I am working on Lego Pops (with some bumps along the way!)
Anyway, hopefully this will be the last question to ask! When you assemble, you stack the cakes and put icing on and the fondant on the green fondant board? That seems rather dangerous for a complete novice like me! I am also nervous about black fondant not attaching right. Did you use extra buttercream for the folds??
Thanks again for sharing your idea and inspiration. Wish me luck! With luck I'll be able to post some pix on Saturday!!
sachi, I covered the board with fondant a day ahead of time. Turns out that was good because it dried and was more durable during the assembly process. I stacked and iced the cakes then popped that into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm things up before transferring to the board.
When attaching the yellow face and the first large black piece, I used a wet paper towel to wet the surface of the cake, and it stuck just fine. Have a glass of water and a small paint brush ready, though, in case you have a spot that won't stick. For the folds started using brushed on water, but it made a couple of black drips on the board. I then tried a trick I learned from Sharon Zambito and used brushed on Crisco to adhere those pieces. Worked great! I just brushed it on anywhere there was going to be fondant to fondant contact.
You may want to consider putting parchment paper over the exposed areas of your board to protect it while you're working on covering the cake. I didn't and wound up with a couple of small black drips. If that happens to you, no worries. Just use a bit of vodka on a paper towel and gently rub over the spot. It takes off the color and quickly evaporates.